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Powerful Essays
Historically, technologies allow for the human adaptation to their environment. Accordingly, with each new technology, new conflicts and issues arise within societies due to the progress. An important theme across the readings is how new technology builds upon older technologies, creating new conflicts and societal issues. These advancements, further cause a shift in needs or wants for improved technology for both entertainment and domestic use.

Admittedly, electricity is an influential aspect for the telephone and telegraph, and as a result is a catalyst for creating new worldviews. Importantly, because of electricity, one is able to obtain communications faster than ever before. It follows that, access to rapid information creates a need for new types of technology (Crowley Heyer 134). Cultural historian and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rosalynd Williams explains in her book Dream Worlds of Consumption the connection between the rapidly changing industrial product and the rise in consumer culture.

Accordingly, in 1851, the first universal exposition opens at the Crystal Palace in London, England. The purpose of the universal exposition is to teach a “lesson of things.” According to Williams, the “lesson” is the social benefit from the innovative technology and the “things” are the scientific knowledge and the technology itself (137). In all, the reason for the exposition is to highlight innovative scientific ideas and technology that can be of use in everyday life.

Although the first exposition is a showcase of innovative ideas and technology, subsequent expositions decidedly became a commercial atmosphere. Further, Williams describes the onset of commercialization at the Paris exposition as “…in ...

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...s.com. 2011. Web. 08 Apr. 2011. http://www.britishmovieclassics.com/thekinetoscope.php

Mary Pickford. Digital image. PBS.org. 23 July 2004. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pickford/peopleevents/p_pickford.html

Palace of Electricity. Digital image. Expositions.bnf.fr. 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. http://expositions.bnf.fr/universelles/grand/072.htm

Paris Exposition 1855. Digital image. Expositions.bnf.fr. 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. http://expositions.bnf.fr/universelles/bande/index5.htm

Sweat shop. Digital image. Nytimes.com/. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/02/27/nyregion/20080227_RIIS_SLIDESHOW_8.html

Williams, Rosalynd. "Dream Worlds of Consumption." Trans. Paul Heyer. Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society. Ed. D. J. Crowley. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson, 2011. 137-43. Print.
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